Super Bowl Advertising Reclaims Surprise

Super Bowl Advertising Reclaims Surprise

February, 07 2018

This year, Super Bowl advertising attempted to reclaim the element of surprise. This domineering tactic indicates a major shift from previous years with an interesting result.

Traditionally, Super Bowl advertising has become its own championship showdown, showcasing some of the best ads of the year. Not to mention, it constantly has the highest rates of viewership all year. So why did some advertisers not choose to hype up their ads with early releases or teases?

The Power of Surprise

In years past, advertisers release their ads weeks before the game to milk the expensive price tag for all its worth and stimulate consumer interest.

This technique uses the psychological priming effect. Basically, they create a small, positive experience first so that subsequent experiences are more likely to be positive. Teasing an ad helps ensure that people will keep liking it, making sure the $5 million budget isn’t wasted. However, this strategy leaves out a vital component of the ad’s success: consumer engagement.

The Effect on Consumers

For consumers, seeing the Super Bowl ads prior the game can surrender the joy of novelty. Consequently, consumers will care less when the actual ad is shown.

For instance, if a consumer has already seen the ad, they probably won’t pay attention during gameday — losing out on the value of the media buy. On the other hand, a consumer seeing the ad for the first time will likely be more attentive during the ad and even more engaged online.

Consumers are more motivated to join a conversation about real-time, trending topics rather than what’s already been covered. Therefore, their input and opinions about the ads become more meaningful. Whether it be on social channels or at work the Monday after, they see themselves as apart of a national conversation and current event rather than commenting on the past.

What to Take Away

According to Deadline, viewership for Super Bowl ads on Youtube after the game increased 16% from the previous year despite a 7% decrease in viewership of the Super Bowl. This suggests that there is something to the tactic of surprise.

It pays to be one step ahead of the conventional. Understanding consumer behavior and perception on a larger scale can help brands and advertisers stand out, garnering higher engagement and interest in real time — which, as marketers, is what we’re all after.

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